Michael Pierse

    Dr Michael Pierse

    Senior Lecturer

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5390

    For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    My research has focussed on the neglected area of class in Irish Studies, particularly in terms of literature. It has been presented in recent years at a wide range of public engagement and academic conference activities, and, with the support of the AHRC and other funders, has moved into new multi-disciplinary themes and international contexts over recent years. My first monograph, Writing Ireland’s Working Class (2011), emerged from my PhD thesis at Trinity College Dublin, and focussed on the writing of working-class life in Dublin after Seán O'Casey. My recent edited collection, A History of Irish Working-Class Writing (2017), has expanded on that research, as was named by Prof John Kerrigan in his 'Books of the Year 2017' (Times Literary Supplement). I am co-editor, with Dr Johanne Devlin Trew at UU, of Rethinking the Irish Diaspora: After the Gathering, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in February 2018, which expands my research on diaspora writers, and have written articles and book chapters on Patrick MacGill, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Dermot Bolger, Roddy Doyle and others. I am also more generally interested in cultural production in contexts of marginalisation and disenfranchisement, and am currently working on research on festivals, community theatre and theatre-as-research. This has developed through 1) a crowd-sourced festival history project (http://www.feilebelfasthistory.com/), which is producing two books, an exhibitions and a Dearcán Media/BBC documentary; and 2) a collaborative community theatre project with playwright Martin Lynch, Green Shoot Productions, Fionntán Hargey of the Markets Area Development Association, former civil rights activists and a range of LGBTQ+, women's reproductive rights, housing rights and refugee organisations. The resultant play--a collaboration between theatre professionals and this range of activist groups--will focus on 'Civil Rights: Then and Now' and premiere at the Lyric Theatre in March 2018. It will also produce a Linen Hall Library exhibition, a range of schools/community outreach initiatives, and lead to academic publications on the cultural and 'Global Sixties' contexts of the 1960s civil rights movement in Ireland, and emancipatory potential of community theatre. This project is part of the AHRC-funded Creative Interruptions initiative (http://creativeinterruptions.com/), which explores creativity in contexts of conflict and disenfranchisement in Britain, Ireland, India, Pakistan and Palestine.  


    Achievements and Distinctions


    As Student Engagement Officer in the School of Arts, English and Languages, I co-ordinate personal tutoring and peer mentoring across the School. Before joining Queen's, I taught for almost a decade in further education and adult education in Dublin, and I am a member of the Teaching Council of Ireland and a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. I am supervisor to five PhD students, ranging in subject from refugee narratives to working-class poetry, and am particularly interested in PhD applications that relate to British and Irish working-class writing generally. My Stage 3 English module, Representing the Working Class, explores this area and suggests a range of less-explored authors whose work might merit doctoral study.  This year, I am supervising/teaching/lecturing on the following modules:

    ARC3024 - History and Theory of Architecture

    ENG1006 - Sounds of the City: Belfast and Beyond

    ENG1008 - Adventures in the History of Ideas

    ENG2000 - Introduction to Critical and Cultural Theory

    ENG3000 - Double Dissertation

    ENG3064 - Representing the Working Class

    ENG7263 (MA) - Shock of the New


    Professional affiliations

    Member of the Irish Labour History Society, the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, the Irish Sociological Association and the Teaching Council of Ireland.

    Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.

    Awards/Reviewing/Other Activities

    • Winner, Vice Chanellor's Prize for Postdoctoral Research, 20 Nov 2015
    • Supervisory Board Member, CALL: Irish Journal for Culture, Arts, Literature and Language
    • Member of AHRC Peer Review College
    • Referee for Irish Studies Review
    • Referee for Irish University Review
    • Referee for Neohelicon, Peter Lang, Postcolonial Text
    • Invited an keynote speaker at various events
    • Northern Bridge AHRC referee
    • External collaborator on major University College Dublin IRC project, 'Gender, Nation and Genre'
    • Network Member, 'Marginal Irish Modernsims'
    • External examiner to PhD level at University of Edinburgh, Southampton Solent University


    Personal interests

    I am an elected officer with the University College Union at Queen's, and a member of the union's Regional Council. I also coach Gaeilic football to Pádraig Sáirséil CLG (Sarsfield's) U6 team. Before taking up my current role at Queen’s, I participated in voluntary community work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ireland, as a voluntary mentor with at-risk teenagers. I have also run marathons and races for a number of charities and community groups. I am also a fluent Irish speaker and have differentiated at PhD level through Irish for Scoil na Gaeilge at QUB.

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
    - Twentieth and twenty-first century Irish writing (mainly drama and fiction)
    - British and Irish working-class writing
    - Community Theatre
    - Diaspora and migrant writing
    - Race/ethnicity in contemporary Irish theatre

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    Frequent Journals

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 2630654